>>Red Flag Warning for Several Counties in Western and Southwestern Minnesota

(St. Paul, MN) — The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for several counties in western and southwestern Minnesota effective from noon through 6:00 p.m. due to extreme fire risk conditions. Affected counties include Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac que Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Pipestone, Rock, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, and Yellow Medicine. Residents should not burn in those counties where a Red Flag Warning is in effect and should check any recent burning they may have done to ensure the fire is completely out. During the Red Flag Warning, the DNR will not issue or activate open burning permits for large vegetative debris burning, and campfires are discouraged.

>>Phillips To Evaluate Campaign After Finishing Third In MN Primary

Congressman Dean Phillips secured less than eight percent support in the recent Minnesota state primary and finished third in the race to become the Democratic presidential nominee. Phillips has acknowledged that his bid to unseat President Joe Biden is now a longshot. He plans to evaluate the Super Tuesday data before deciding whether to continue his campaign. Despite this setback, Phillips remains committed to preventing Donald Trump from being elected president.

>>Emmer Announces State of the Union Guests

(Washington, D.C.) — During tomorrow’s (Thur)State of the Union address, Republican Congressman Tom Emmer will be accompanied by two distinguished guests from Minnesota’s 6th District. Tom and Cathey, Hoernemann of Andover, are the parents of 32-year-old Major Jeffrey Hoernemann, who died last year when his Osprey aircraft crashed over the coast of Yakushima Island, Japan, during a routine training mission. Seven other members of Hoernemann’s crew also died in the crash.

>>Combatting the Prior Authorization Process

(St. Paul, MN) — Patients who have ever experienced a denial or delay in receiving treatment or medication prescribed by their doctor know how frustrating it can be to deal with insurers’ complicated prior authorization processes. Senator Kelly Morrison acknowledges that prior authorization is a familiar and challenging issue, but it has become out of control. She believes that prior authorizations are used for medications and treatments that patients should be encouraged to get. However, the process hinders patients from getting the care they need. Morrison believes this is personal as a physician because she has seen firsthand how the prior authorization process delays care and causes patients to abandon care. Senator Morrison and Representative Kristen Bahner (BAH-ner) are introducing legislation to reduce medication delays, disruptions, and confusion to address this issue.

>>DNR Says MN Moose Population Remains Stable

(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has reported that the number of moose in the state has stabilized after a significant drop in the last few decades. The department recently conducted its annual aerial moose count and found that there are just under 3,500 moose in the area, close to the yearly average of the last few years. The agency has attributed the decline in moose populations to climate change, predators, and parasites. These factors have collectively reduced the moose population by about 60% since the early 2000s.

>>Report: UnitedHealth May Have Paid $22M To Stop Ransomware Attack

(Minnetonka, MN)– Cybersecurity experts suggest that UnitedHealth may have paid $22 million to a hacker group to end a ransomware attack. The attack was reported on one of its subsidiary companies last week by the Minnetonka-based healthcare group. UnitedHealth has not yet confirmed any ransom payment, but analysts believe that a $22 million Bitcoin transaction from the company could be evidence of such a payment. UnitedHealth has stated that it is continuing to focus on investigating the attack.



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